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Kalua Pig

If you don't have an Imu in the backyard this is the next best thing. Deceptively simple; the secret to this recipe hangs on one ingredient - banana leaves. 

Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 10 hrs
Total time: 10 hr 45 mins

Yield: 15


  • 1 Bone-in pork butt or pork shoulder
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Liquid smoke
  • Handful Sea salt
  • 3 Banana leaves
  • Water


  1. Massage the pork all over with liquid smoke. 
  2. Sprinkle sea salt over the enitre pork and massage in. You'll probably use a good handfull of salt. 
  3. Wrap the pork entirely with banana leaves. Wrap the first aournd the pork, turn and wrap the second in the opposite direction, then the third in the same direction as the first.
  4. Place banana leaf wrapped pork in the slow cooker and fill about halfway with water. 
  5. Set the slow cooker on low and cook for 10 hours. Do NOT lift the the lid during this time.
  6. Bring the slow cooker over to a cutting board and start lifting out pieces of pork with tongs. The meat will easily fall apart. Shred the pork with two forks. Remove any fat or greasy stringy bits. (There's plenty to go around, may as well use the choicest pieces of meat).
  7. Strain the juice from slow cooker through a sieve and save. Add 1/4 cup to the pork and toss. The remaining juice can go into a container and refrigerated.
  8. Let the pork cool and then cover and keep in the refrigerator (after you've snacked on a few bites of course!).

Serving Kalua Pig

  1. Line the slow cooker with a new banana leaf. Add the shredded pork and as much of the saved liquid as desired. The goal is to make it juicy, not a soup.
  2. Cover with a banana leaf and cook on low for one hour before serving.
Note: For a quick meal just throw some of the Kalua Pig over a bowl of rice and microwave for 1 minute.

Chef Special thinks to Daryl Quijano